The Department of Health and Human Performance
Dr. Russ Lord, Chairperson
PE 120, 406-657-2370
Professors: Gary Gray, Russell Lord*, Ernesto Randolfi
Associate Professor: Jay Shaw
Assistant Professor: Agnes Samples
Lecturer: Loretta Morgan
Athletic Training Program Director: Suzette Nynas
Emeritus: Harold Alterowitz
* Joint appointment with Educational Theory and Practice
The department offers and administers the following Graduate Degree programs:
Master of Science in Athletic Training
Master of Science in Sport, Recreation and Fitness Management
Master of Education degree with an option in: Interdisciplinary Studies
The most current descriptions and requirements for these academic programs including course syllabi are available at the Department of Health and Human Performance website.
The Department of Health and Human Performance through excellent instruction, innovative research, and community outreach to the local and global community is dedicated to preparing exemplary professionals who promote health and human performance.
Graduate Degree Programs
The Master of Science in Athletic Training degree is an Entry-Level Graduate degree program. The Master’s level curriculum is designed to prepare students to become athletic training professionals who are also able to develop and evaluate athletic training research. The curriculum is based upon specific cognitive and psychomotor learning experiences that prepare students for the Board of Certification Examination and athletic training practice. In order to become eligible to sit for this examination, students must complete all of the coursework and the required clinical experiences for each semester they are enrolled in the program.
All materials must be submitted prior to March 15th for
admission for both summer and fall. Applications will
be reviewed after March 15th. Only completed files will
be reviewed. Applications and transcripts will be
reviewed by the Athletic Training Admission
Committee. Overall GPA, GPA in prerequisite courses,
and GRE scores will be used in the evaluation process.
Applicants not meeting the minimum GPA and course
requirements minimums are notified and removed from
applicant pool. Accepted applicants will be notified by
Minimum Undergraduate GPA: 3.0
International students: Either TOEFL or IELTS
The Master of Science in Sport, Recreation and Fitness Management is designed to prepare students to serve in a variety of leadership positions within sport, recreation, or fitness organizations. Students graduating from this program will be able to strategically plan, implement, market and evaluate programs designed to serve specific clients in this field. Students will also be able to design, execute and assess research in the field of sport, recreation or fitness management. Two program tracks are available:
Coaching and School Leadership
Designed to prepare students to serve in a variety of leadership positions, this track focuses on those who intend to work with K-12 athletics and activity programs. The Billings Public School District has approved this degree for step advancement on its salary scale.
Development, Marketing and Management
This academic track is designed to enhance student skills in planning, promotion, and organization within sport, recreation, and fitness organizations. Graduates of this academic focus often work with professional or amateur sports teams/organizations, fitness facilities, parks and recreation departments, golf and tennis clubs and other professional venues.
The Master of Education degree through the Interdisciplinary Studies Option allows the student to pursue an in-depth emphasis in health and physical education K-12, as well as other potential areas designed for the student’s specific professional interests. Graduates of this degree program demonstrate outcome competencies as defined in the College of Education Advanced Conceptual Framework.
The Department of Health and Human Performance requires the following minimum requirements in determining program admission to graduate degree programs.
- Undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0.
- Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or other graduate entrance examination.
- One official transcript from each college and/or university attended.
- Complete Montana State University Billings Graduate Studies application
Additionally, the Athletic Training and the Sport, Recreation and Fitness Management programs require:
- An admission essay that describes the student’s interest in graduate study and includes a statement of professional goals. A specific form is required for Athletic Training and is available online.
Three letters of reference from academic and professional sources concerning the candidate’s potential to succeed in graduate school, prospective contributions to the profession, etc. A specific form is required for Athletic Training and is available online.
A maximum of twelve (12) graduate credits may be accepted for transfer from approved accredited educational institutions. Copies of official transcripts must be sent directly from the registrar to the Office of Graduate Studies. No course credit may be transferred unless the grade received was at least a “B.” Transfer credits will be evaluated by the faculty, the program director, and the Health and Human Performance Department. Copies of syllabi from transfer courses may be required to accurately judge the equivalency of courses.
Competitive Selection Criterion
Admission is competitive and is not guaranteed simply by meeting the minimum admission standards. The Department of Health and Human Performance uses the prospective student’s undergraduate GPA, entrance examination score, application essay and letters of recommendation to determine the appropriateness of the applicant’s academic background as well as the compatibility of the candidate’s educational and career goals within the scope of the program. Applicants are ranked according to the selection criteria below and admitted until the program is full each year. Students who are not selected for admission may reapply. The relative weights for selection criteria are reflected in the following percentages GPA = 40%, Letters of recommendations = 25%, Admissions essay = 25%, GRE = 10%.
Notification of Program Admittance
The applicant will receive a letter from the director of graduate studies indicating admittance status no later than 30 days following the receipt of the complete application.
Plan of Study
Once admitted to one of the above programs, students meet with their advisor during the first semester of coursework and develop a plan of study that reflects their area of professional interest.
Research Project or Thesis
Students must complete a research project or a thesis. Though both involve personal research that includes development of a research question, formulation of appropriate inquiry methods, data collection, analysis, interpretation, and communication skills, a thesis differs from a research project by having greater scope and greater potential contribution to the larger profession beyond personal interest. Students should consult with the faculty prior to deciding between the research project or thesis.
Thesis, Thesis Defense, and Oral Exams
The student will meet with an advisor to explore a master’s thesis topic and design a suitable project. A formal proposal, the format of which is to be determined by the advisor, will be written and presented before the graduate faculty. Following completion of the project, a defense of the thesis project will be conducted before the graduate faculty. Oral examinations, generally conducted at the end of the plan of study, and will be conducted on a date agreed upon by the student and graduate faculty.
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